While most often referred to as a great painter, Leonardo da Vinci's knack for inventing can be far more interesting, and Monstro Mechanica #1 rides that theory into some truly interesting places.
Monstro Mechanica is a brand new series from AfterShock Comics, written by Paul Allor and drawn by Chris Evenhuis. As you might identify from the book's title, the series focuses on the inventiveness of da Vinci, but not necessarily in the way you might expect.
Allor's depiction is an interesting mixture of savvy and brazen. A methodical mind forms the basis of any decision Leonardo makes, but you might be surprised at how composed he is when things drift off plan. Even other similar interpretations, like Assassins's Creed, for instance, don't establish him as someone so capable, but that's certainly not the case here, and he makes quite the entertaining leading man.
The book doesn't just rely on him though to keep things lively, as it's really his interactions with his apprentice Isabel that steal the show. The themes of what can be identified as life are a frequent topic between the two, but Isabel doesn't cower in the slightest. That said, she isn't the typical "rebel" either, and their relationship feels nuanced and real.
That foundation helps ground the more fantastical elements, like say having a wooden robot bodyguard. It (or him, depending on who you ask) is a crucial part of the story but has even bigger potential. The moments he is included he shines, but it's probably good to space him out.
The balance is just a hair off though, at least in issue #1. There's a portion of the book that loses momentum, focusing on the political aspect of Leonardo da Vinci's work. Actually, there are a few of these moments, but when Leonardo is directly involved these sections don't seem to grind as long. When he's not, they are still well written, but not near as compelling.
Chris Evenhuis' art is quite compelling, however, and suits the tone and world on display to a tee. Clean lines and a lush color palette fill each page, painting a lovely picture of Renaissance-era Florence.
Monstro Mechanica #1 is a great start to a series that has bounds of potential and presents an inventive take on a historical icon. A compelling last page hook should keep readers invested, and as long as the three leads are front and center, Monstro Mechanica has a bright future.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
AfterShock Comics' Monstro Mechanica #1 hits comic shops on December 13, 2017.